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2004 | 2001

1 item from 2004


Viva Las Nowhere

8 July 2004 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Winner of a Special Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival, "Viva Las Nowhere" is just funny and well-executed enough to rope in savvy audiences in the mood for a country music black comedy.

Highlighted by Daniel Stern's three-dimensional portrayal of the hapless lead and Patricia Richardson's dual role as twin sisters, the low-budget Franchise Pictures project is directed with economy and verve by Jason Bloom ("Bio-Dome").

With a comically on-target and abruptly mood-shifting screenplay by Richard Uhlig and Steve Seitz, "Viva" is set in the geographical center of the country, where Stern's would-be songwriter-singer Frank Jacobs owns a motel that has few customers.

When he helps a boozy and attractive singer (Lacey Kohl) after she has been dumped by her partner (James Caan) -- a sleazier veteran of the music scene -- Frank starts down a dark road that leads to several intentional and accidental fatalities, and many suspicious customers showing up at the motel.

Richardson ("Ulee's Gold") makes for a great de facto antagonist as Frank's viciously skeptical and jealous wife, and then later as that character's duplicitous twin. With a Willie Nelson-like mane and echoing some of his hard-hearted characters from the past, Caan is in top form.

But it's Stern who brings the movie to full life with an enthusiastic but unshow-offy performance.

VIVA LAS NOWHERE

Franchise Pictures

In association with Samaha Prods.

Director: Jason Bloom

Screenwriters: Richard Uhlig, Steve Seitz

Producers: Demitri Samaha, Tracee Stanley, Josh Miller

Executive producers: Elie Samaha, Andrew Stevens

Director of photography: James Glennon

Production designer: Alexander Hammond

Editor: Luis Colina

Costume designer: Robert Moore

Music: Andrew Cross

Casting: Elizabeth Marx

Color/stereo

Cast:

Frank Jacobs: Daniel Stern

Helen Jacobs/Wanda: Patricia Richardson

Julie Mitchell: Lacey Kohl

Marguerite: Sherry Stringfield

Roy: James Caan

Running time -- 97 minutes

MPAA Rating: R »

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2004 | 2001

1 item from 2004


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